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When I was looking for a camera to buy in 2009, I tried to find the right set of features and price for my needs and budget range. I am not an expert in technical features but the 8 Megapixels resolution seemed impressive at that time. I bought the Olympus digital camera FE-320 for 120 Euros and since then I have used it at my holidays, when travelling abroad, in my nights-out and at home. Unfortunately, the camera had a small accident and I don't use it any more. I recently dropped it with the lens open in its full length and it slightly warped. I managed to straighten it in order to close the lens and it worked, but the images are more blurry and I needed to be very steady in order to get good photos.
It is a model of 2008 that combines an 8 Megapixels quality with 3x optical zoom lens and 4x digital zoom. The metallic body is available in four colours (silver, black, pink, blue) and the slim light-weight design makes it easy to carry around (weights 95 g without the battery and card).
The camera menu is not too complicated, the external buttons are well-placed and you can use it straight away without going through the manual. The zoom lever is at the top right hand corner at the snap-shot button. The colours are clear in the pictures and the auto mode takes good quality shots, so even if you don't understand the full features and capabilities, it applies the optimum settings.
When I purchased the camera, the 1GB Olympus xD-Picture Card was an extra as part of the offer. But normally the picture card is not included and the camera has internal memory of 48 MB (built-in memory). The drawback here is that it only accepts xD-Picture Cards.
The pictures are displayed on a 2.7'' TFT COLOR LCD monitor and it has digital image stabilization (DIS) for clear shots. The fast shutter speed also prevents blurry images especially if the object is moving (Shutter speed: 4-1/2000).
Three flash modes are available, the auto, fill and the red-eye reduction.
It has different shooting modes for people, landscapes, moving objects, scenes (Night Scenes, Sports, Fireworks and Portrait) etc. and the AUTO function. With the Smile Detection option, the camera finds the smiling faces in the picture and captures three shots automatically. Another advanced and cool feature is the Face Detection, used to track the faces in the frame, and focuses automatically.
Expression Edit is an extra fun feature that allows you to change the facial expressions in a photo after the capture of the image. A multi-frame window appears on the LCD monitor with four different expressions you can choose from.
The camera can also capture video clips with sound and continuous recording of length that depends on the capacity of the memory card. For example, with my 1GB memory card I could record 30 minutes of video. It has the capability for functioning zoom during the video, with good quality.
The menu is simple and you can make various adjustments to improve the settings. Easy to install the camera in the PC or laptop and transfer the photos by connecting it with the provided USB cable. There is also an option to print the pictures by connecting directly the camera to the USB port of the printer with the same cable that is used for the PC.
The Olympus software CD is included with the purchase, providing digital imaging management and editing. It gives the ability to quickly download and organise the photos in folders. I prefer organising mine with the calendar view to keep track of my photos according to the dates taken.
Concerning the power supply, the Lithium Ion rechargeable battery is an additional advantage because it lasts longer and makes the camera speedier than with disposables. Plus, this type of batteries is environmentally-friendly. The battery takes about 5 hours to fully charge and according to the specifications, the battery life is for 300 full charges.
Olympus included a small camera case (more like a pouch) which is useful for protection against scratches, but I bought a proper case for extra safety.
Digital camera with dimensions 91.3 mm (W) x 56.8 mm (H) x 19.1 mm (D)
USB cable to connect the camera to the PC
AV cable to connect the camera to the TV
LI-42B Lithium Ion Battery
LI-40C Battery Charger with the power cable
The CD-ROM of the Software OLYMPUS Master 2
Instruction Manual and Warranty Card
In order to install the software, the computer must meet the following system requirements:
Windows: Windows 2000 Professional/XP Home Edition/XP Professional/Vista
RAM 256 MB or more, USB Port, Internet Explorer 6 or later, QuickTime 7, DirectX 9
CPU: Pentium III (500 MHz) or faster
Macintosh: Mac OS X v10.3 or later
CPU: Power PC G3 (500 MHz or faster)
Intel Core Solo/Duo (1.5 GHz) or faster
RAM 256 MB or more, USB Port, Safari 1.0 or later, QuickTime 6 or later